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Industrial Instrumentation

Learn the skills to operate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair process control systems.

Program Image
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

Major advances in technology in recent years have led to a demand for qualified, multi-skilled technicians for the process and manufacturing industries. This program provides training in the operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of various pneumatic, electronic and micro-processor-based process control systems, while emphasizing safety and teamwork throughout the program.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two. Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • The shop area is well-equipped with the latest test equipment and a wide variety of measurement, control and analytical instruments. You learn to calibrate and bench test instruments as well as install and maintain them in an actual industrial-type process.

Other info

  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Marconi Campus Sydney Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Academic Grade 12 Math and Academic Grade 11 Physics.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,620
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Oil refineries, pulp and paper mills, chemical plants, steam and power plants, dairies, breweries, mining, manufacturing industries, oceans sector and other research environments.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Future study options

  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Instrumentation and Control Technician trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • Certification with a Red Seal – Instrumentation and Control Technician is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

COMM 1245 - Technical Communications I
This course introduces students to the writing, oral presentation, critical thinking and interpersonal communications skills required of technical professionals in the workplace. The fundamentals of clear, concise writing and presenting will be reviewed and refined. Experience will be gained in organizing, writing and presenting technical information. In addition, career development skills and portfolio preparation will be discussed. There will be several opportunities, through assignments and lab work, to develop portfolio components. Students will learn how to collect appropriate work samples and documentation from other courses in the program as well as from other sources.

COMM 2245 - Technical Communications II
This course focuses on the interpersonal, written and oral technical communication skills necessary for working independently and as part of a team in a technical environment. Further skill development in written forms of technical documentation required for the workplace as well as report creation and oral presentation skills will continue to be emphasized. Team building principles, group dynamics and collaborative writing will be discussed. Students will participate in meetings and take responsibilities in a group project from its inception to completion and evaluation. Students will continue to enhance and apply their research skills and project management principles will also be introduced. Successful job interviews and the portfolio will be discussed.

IITN 1000 - Physics I
In order to measure and control process variables, the technician must have an appreciation for the physical properties of these variables. The technician must also be familiar with the mechanics used in the various types of sensors and transducers. This course introduces physics principles and their application in the context of instrumentation. The course concentrates on the skills that will allow the learner to understand physical concepts and use this understanding to solve equations and formulae encountered in industry. Content is comprehensive to give learners a good foundation of physics, as applied in the technician's environment.

IITN 1004 - Industrial Electronic Fundamentals
Today most industrial instrumentation equipment is electronic or microprocessor based. In order to properly install and maintain this equipment, an Instrumentation Technician must have a basic knowledge of various electronic devices, circuits and digital logic gates. This course covers the operation and application of various electronic devices and circuits used in measurement and control equipment. Learners will apply their knowledge of electronics to understand the operation of components in metering circuits, bridge networks and solid state switching devices used in measurement and control circuits. Circuit analysis is performed using a combination of electronic trainers and software programs. Emphasis is placed on power supplies, filters and regulators.

IITN 1005 - Wiring Methods I
In this course learners will be introduced to wiring systems as they apply to an industrial setting. Course topics include cable tray and conduits, single and multi-conductor cables, cable glanding, terminations, wiring identification. Theory will be reinforced through practical applications in the electrical shop during the course and projects throughout the entire program. Also included is the proper use of High Voltage safety personal protective equipment and safe work practices. The Canadian Electrical Code will be emphasized for all course material.

IITN 1008 - Physics II
In this course, learners will improve physics skills to the level required by technicians entering the workforce in the instrumentation and electrical fields. The course concentrates on the skills that will allow learners to understand physical concepts and use this understanding to solve equations and formulae encountered in industry. Content is comprehensive to give learners a good understanding of physics, as it applies in a technician's environment.

IITN 1011 - DC Fundamentals
Instrumentation Technicians must have a solid background in electrical theory in order to properly install and troubleshoot instruments and control loops. Many instrumentation circuits are interlocked with electrical equipment. This course is designed to introduce learners to the concepts and theories of electricity and DC circuits. The course introduces basic electricity, wire sizing, electrical quantities and Ohm’s Law, series and parallel resistive direct current circuits. Along with electrical theory, learners are introduced to electrical measuring instruments and use various lab projects to confirm theories and concepts. Safety is paramount in this course and is emphasized throughout.

IITN 1012 - AC Fundamentals
Instrumentation Technicians must have a solid background in electrical theory in order to properly install and troubleshoot instruments and control loops. Many instrumentation circuits are interlocked with electrical equipment. This course is designed as the second building block in electrical theory following on from DC circuits. Learners will study the concepts of AC electricity and apply them to resistive, inductive and capacitive circuits. The course also covers three phase circuits, including wye and delta connections, power and power factor as well as calculations involving three phase quantities. Similar to DC circuits, the learner will work on lab projects to reinforce theoretical concepts and safety is emphasized throughout.

IITN 1101 - Introduction to Instrumentation
This course gives the learner the basic concepts and terminology used in industrial instrumentation. It is designed to introduce learners to the concepts of process measurement and control as they apply to instrumentation. Material covers terminology, process variables, standard signals, standard symbols, on-off control, feedback, components of a control loop and types of final control devices.

IITN 1102 - Tools, Fasteners and Fabrication
Learners will be given instruction in the use of cutting and non-cutting hand tools, precision and semi-precision measuring devices, and layout procedures. Learners will display the ability to use semi-precision and precision tools to measure and layout specific projects as designated by the instructor. Measurements and projects will focus on tolerances, fits, and limits. Learners will also learn attributes and designations of various fasteners and screw threads utilized in the industry.

IITN 2101 - Wiring Methods II
This course is designed to introduce learners to wiring systems as they apply to an industrial setting. Course topics include hand and power tool safety, cable construction, wire sizing, ampacity ratings, cable system routing and the Canadian Electrical Code. This course gives learners a solid understanding of cables and their place in the electrical system.

IITN 2102 - Motor Control
Within industry motors are an integral part of the operation of the process. An instrumentation technician’s role in maintaining and installing motor control devices is essential to the success of the plant’s operation. Instrumentation Technicians must have a solid background in motor control and a basic understanding of the devices and equipment used. This course is designed to introduce learners to the concepts and theories of industrial motor controls. The course covers the basic theory of solid state devices, motor starters, AC and DC motor control circuits and motor drives.

IITN 3006 - Control Valves
Technicians must have a good understanding of control valves in order to set up and maintain control systems. This course introduces learners to control valves. Topics include valve body design and application, valve installation and maintenance, operation of pneumatic, hydraulic and electric actuators and the installation and operation of valve positioners. Learners will set up valves and perform basic valve maintenance in the shop.

IITN 3007 - Motors
Motors are the driving force for pumps and compressors, which in turn drive fluids throughout industrial plants. Generators provide the power to drive industrial systems. Instrumentation equipment used to control fluids is usually connected back to the motor or generator either directly or indirectly. This course introduces the construction and operation of DC and AC motors and generators. Topics covered include DC motors and generators, starting DC motors, stepping motors, squirrel cage motors, wound rotor motors, synchronous motors, AC motor starting and AC alternators.

IITN 3104 - Introduction to CAD
The CAD course introduces learners to the fundamentals of computer-assisted design and production drafting. It is meant to complement the blueprint reading course and provide learners with a basic understanding of graphic language as it pertains to the instrumentation field. Learners will be provided with the theory of drawing and be given the opportunity to apply this theory by producing P&ID drawings and loop schematics using the computer and AutoCAD software as their working medium.

IITN 3105 - Pipefitting and Tube Bending
Instrument sensors and indicators are connected to the process by pipes and tubes. Also, pneumatic signals are carried by pipes and tubing. A technician must be familiar with terminology, methods of installation, tools and fittings in order to fabricate and work on these installations. This course is designed to give learners the fundamental knowledge and skills required to work with pipe and tubing. The course covers pipe and tubing materials, terminology, sizing, scheduling, fittings, fabrication of pipe and tubing runs, cutting, reaming, threading, and tube bending. Safety is included and stressed throughout this course. The safe use of hand and power tools associated with pipe and tubing is covered along with personal protective equipment and safe work methods.

IITN 3106 - Computer Networks
This course is designed to train learners in the field of computer hardware and network equipment. This course covers the association between hardware and software drivers, how to install hardware, set operating parameters, use diagnostic utilities to troubleshoot and install common application software. The course will also cover computer networks, network media, common protocol and interface boards.

IITN 4104 - Analytic Troubleshooting
Analytic troubleshooting is a systematic method of troubleshooting that uses logical steps in effectively locating and repairing trouble. This course covers methods of analyzing problems. Once a problem is defined, learners are taught to determine possible causes, test to prove the true cause, fix the problem and then to think beyond the fix. General troubleshooting safety practices and tools are covered in this course. Practical experience will be gained through case studies and troubleshooting exercises associated with various labs.

IITN 4105 - Process Measurement I
This course is designed to introduce learners to the terminology, concepts and techniques of industrial process measurement. This course will focus on the variables of pressure and level. Learners will study the physical properties of these variables, the operating principles of industrial instruments used to measure these variables, as well as installation, maintenance and repair guidelines. The methods and principles of instrument calibration will be an integral part of this course. Learners will gain understanding of the importance of calibration, the importance of proper documentation and the operation of typical test equipment used in modern instrumentation shops, pneumatic, electronic and microprocessor-based. A strong emphasis is placed on safety and teamwork.

IITN 4106 - Process Control I
This course is designed to introduce learners to the theory and equipment used for automatic process control. It also provides the basic knowledge required to understand more advanced control strategies. The theory develops from basic definitions, symbols, and drawings to concepts of on/off control, batch processing and continuous control. The basic concepts of proportional band, integral and derivative (PID) are introduced and used in the lab to tune controllers for various processes. The course also introduces process fundamentals that must be considered when tuning a controller for efficient operation. Learners will be required to complete various lab projects in order to meet the learning outcomes of the course.

IITN 4107 - PLC Fundamentals and Programming
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) are widely used for control of industrial processes. A technician must have a sound understanding of the fundamentals of the PLC architecture and basic programming configuration. Learners in this course will be introduced to the fundamentals of Programmable Logic Controllers. Areas of study include introduction to PLC programming such as relay logic instructions, timer and counter instructions, logic instructions, comparison instructions, and file instructions.

IITN 4108 - Pneumatics and Hydraulics
In order to work effectively with pneumatic and hydraulic instrumentation equipment, technicians must understand the operation of the systems powering the equipment. This course provides learners with the theory and skills necessary to work with pneumatic and hydraulic instrumentation equipment. Topics include instrument air systems, pneumatic instruments, hydraulic symbols, directional control valves and overall systems.

IITN 5100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides learners with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

IITN 5106 - Process Measurement II
Process Measurement I is designed to introduce learners to the terminology, concepts and techniques of industrial process measurement. This course will focus on the variables of temperature and flow. Learners will study the physical properties of these variables, the operating principles of industrial instruments used to measure these variables, as well as installation, maintenance and repair guidelines for these instruments. The methods and principles of instrument calibration will be an integral part of this course. Learners will gain understanding of the importance of calibration, the importance of proper documentation and the operation of typical test equipment used in modern instrumentation shops. Instrumentation equipment will include pneumatic, electronic and microprocessor based. A strong emphasis is placed on safety and teamwork.

IITN 5107 - Process Control II
In order to function effectively in industrial process plants, control technicians must have an understanding of advanced control methods and analyzers. Most industrial processes utilize advanced control techniques such as cascade, ratio and feedforward. This is especially true in controlling large boilers. This course is designed to cover the concepts of advanced control strategies, boiler controls and industrial Fieldbus systems. Topics covered include cascade, feedforward, ratio control, boilers and boiler controls. The principles of HART and Foundation Fieldbus are also covered. Theoretical concepts will be reinforced through practical applications in the lab.

IITN 5109 - Analyzers
This course introduces the principles, installation, calibration and maintenance of various industrial process and combustion analyzers. Safety and the safe handling of chemicals will be stressed. The course covers pH, ORP, conductivity, optical, electrochemical, and chromatography analyzers. Each analyzer type is defined by its principle of operation, sensing units, detection units, and chemicals measured. Installation guidelines and various calibration procedures are covered. Finally, this course covers maintenance techniques recommended by manufacturers.

IITN 5110 - DCS Fundamentals and Process Applications
The distributed control system (DCS) course expands on process control concepts and covers multi-loop, plant-wide control systems. The course looks at the evolution of plant-wide process control, compares DCS and PLC systems, covers the architecture of hardware and the configuration of function blocks. The course covers human machine interface (HMI) devices, graphics and display organization. Material covers supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) The final section of this course deals with system integrity, redundancy, faults and basic system troubleshooting.

MATH 1060 - Applied Math I for Technicians
This course provides learners with a basic understanding of applied mathematical principles for use by technicians. Applied Math l is designed to cover basic algebra, geometry, functional notation, linear equations, quadratic equations, exponents, logarithms, analytic geometry and systems of equations. The use of computer software as a mathematical tool will be explored. Learners will be encouraged to maintain a math journal that may become part of their personal College portfolio.

MATH 1066 - Applied Math II for Technicians
This course builds on the skills and knowledge learned from Applied Math l (MATH 1060) broadening the understanding of applied mathematical principles for use by technicians. Applied Math ll is designed to cover trigonometric functions, complex numbers, analytic geometry and systems of equations. The use of computer software as a mathematical tool will be used. Learners will be encouraged to maintain a math journal that may become part of their personal College portfolio.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
The learner is introduced to fall protection, fall prevention and fall arrest concepts and responsibilities at the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed and the learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the use of selected equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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